“The Popes of Avignon”

The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile
by Edwin Mullins
Bluebridge, 2008

The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile
is a must-read for anyone interested in Church history, especially that seventy-year period (1308 – 1378) in which the papacy took flight from Rome and set up residence in Avignon. Edwin Mullins does a tremendous job of explaining the many factors at work during this period including the late medieval feudal system, shifting political tides, the Hundred Years War between France and England and the scourge of the black death. He describes the reasons for the move to Avignon and the effect on the town as it grew exponentially in wealth and population. Mullins also offers very balanced portraits of each of the popes (and anti-popes) who would attempt to reign over the Church during this tumultuous period.

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